I think you already know I am an introvert.
What does a frugal introvert have to do with parties? well nothing, but I had a feeling that retiring early after so many years without mentioning would be a bad idea -as it would not give me any sense of closure, and might let people at work believe I am leaving with a grudge of some kind- which is not true. well not entirely anyway.
So I received a budget from the office and managed to save some money (yes- I am frugal with office money too…), and wrote to everyone that there will be no speeches, no gifts and no “funny” videos, just some wine and sweets, and good music.
Just in case you were wondering- no- none of the food was vegan.
No one in my whole office (more than 100 people) is vegan, and I see no point in making a point specifically on my departure day.
Live and let live or whatever.
I bought perishable serving “plates” and paper cups, wine and all kinds of sweets, and gave the office a Cezanne photo reproduction to remind them to eat well even when I’m not there.
I made presents for the closest people I liked working with:
clay hedgehogs, that can be used as pen or pencil holders.
I made a playlist consisting of the following songs:
*on the turning away- pink Floyd
*all the time in the world- deep purple
*I’m leaving today- Christina Aguilera
*think (freedom -from the “blues brothers)- Aretha Franklin
*another one bites the dust- queen
*hallelujah- Leonard Cohen
and that, my friends, is all.
(I wonder who relates to this reference…)
I can tell you people were shocked of the absence of speeches, and at first, just stood there waiting for something to happen, but then I explained to them that no speeches are planned and they are free to grab a free drink and enjoy the food and music.
I guess breaking office traditions isn’t done in one event…
I managed to pass the event although every bone of my introvert bones was aching. I understood closure was needed here- mainly for me.
After 27 years, it was time to say goodbye (I’m full of references today what do you know) -and I believe it was imפortant to do it properly. well -in my version of appropriation anyway.
I did receive gifts, though I repeatedly said that I need nothing and they better donate the sum of money they intended to buy me a gift- to someone that is in need. but people have a way of behaving I can’t change, and if someone leaves the office- then presents must be given no matter what.
one great gift I got was the hammock in the above picture.
the 12 -15 people I was directly in charge of got together and bought me this huge hammock, and although I said no gifts -I admit I love this thing…
Besides that great hammock, I received some books, and a week later I went to the book store and exchanged all the books for a voucher (added to 150$ total) and this coming holiday my daughter will get it as a present.
In case you are wondering what’s wrong with books- or asking yourselves is this woman a book hater or something- well quite the opposite my friends, quite the opposite.
I love books, and I love reading. maybe it has to do with my being an introvert- maybe not, but the fact is books have over the years, been a true and loyal and fascinating companion for me.
I have a big library at home, or rather- used to have one, since a few months ago I decided that “a book unread is like a person unloved” -hence my decision to konmary my library, and give the library the books I will not read again, and the rest will be re-read- and then decided upon.
This decision implied also that I will not buy any new books until I finish re-reading my whole library.
I admit I did but Ruth Ozeki’s new book (couldn’t help it she is brilliant that woman) and another 2 but this is such a difference from my previous behavior that I forgive myself those minor setbacks.
So I survived the blaming face from the sales lady at the book store (“doesn’t she appreciate books this strange person”-no she didn’t say it out loud but she just as well might have) and got my voucher.
Now it’s time to make the best use of time. and life.
Carpe diem my friends- the cooliflower.